Hey baby!

I've been MIA a bit lately—but for good reason...My husband and I welcomed a sweet baby boy into our lives in March! He is perfect and we are just smitten with him! 

It's been quite a journey, from the pregnancy to these past few months of major sleep deprivation. But we couldn't be happier!

My first "project" once I got back into the studio, was of course a hand-lettered birth announcement! Photography by the talented Abby Cope

I'm enjoying a fun summer of baby snuggles and lots of exciting firsts as we watch him grow. I've also recently gotten back into my studio with some fun illustration & lettering projects—and looking forward to picking up speed with lots more fun work on the horizon. Stay tuned for updates!

Women's Wit 2017

I had the really fun opportunity to work with Andrew's McMeel again, on their 2017 "Women's Wit" calendar. It's a really fun mini-desk calendar with quirky quotes from inspiring women for everyday of the year. Like the 2016 calendar I illustrated, this project included cover art with hand-lettering and 6 spot illustrations and background for the interior. So great to work with Jenny and the Andrew's McMeel team again!

Picture book lettering

I was thrilled to recently have the chance to create some cover lettering for an upcoming picture book from Random House. The book is based on the true story of Alice Paul, who led the women's voting movement in the 1910s. AD Katrina Damkoehler (also a very dear former colleague from my days at Penguin!) always has fantastic design ideas and steered me in a clear stylistic direction that worked well with the time period as well as the lovely art by illustrator, Nancy Zhang. She also asked me to hand-letter headlines for faux "newspapers" on the endpapers.

This title will pub in the Fall (just in time for the election!), but is available for pre-order now. Love how this came out and all works together as a package. Thanks Katrina!

 Lettering Sketches

Lettering Sketches

 Artwork for Endpapers

Artwork for Endpapers

Hell's Kitchen map

I was thrilled to wrap up 2015 with a really fun assignment for the awesome folks at W42ST. I loved collaborating with them last summer on a cover for their publication, which features all kinds of great things to see & do in Hell’s Kitchen, so was super excited when they called about another project. They wanted to feature a gate folded map in the back of the magazine, pinpointing landmarks as well as some the best shops and restaurants in the area. It was super fun to dive into the research and take a little walk down memory lane of some of my favorite haunts in my old stomping ground. They hope to use this map in each issue moving forward, and possibly add featured sponsors to the map each month.

I lived in Hell's Kitchen for 3 years, so the neighborhood and this magazine have a special place in my heart, which made the job extra fun! The January issue is out now—available in coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and other places throughout Hell's Kitchen—and the online edition can be seen here.

The Thing About Leftovers

I always love working with my old friends and colleagues at Penguin Books, so when AD Irene Vandervoort asked me to take on this fun middle-grade cover I jumped at the opportunity! This is a funny and sweet middle-grade read about a southern girl, with a passion for cooking, who feels like a "leftover" from her divorced parents' marriage but eventually comes to realize her very important place in her new blended family.

After exploring lots of concepts—including graphic, type-driven, and photographic approaches, we decided to play off the "leftovers" title and I created this fun typographic illustration. The book pubs next spring, but is available for pre-order now.

Think Summer, Think Fordham

I was super excited when Fordham University asked me to create an illustrated headline for their Summer 2016 program. The tagline is "Think Summer, Think Fordham" and will be used on all the marketing materials for next year's session. They were really fun to work with, giving me a lot of creative freedom with how to interpret the slogan and represent both city and academics in a fun way. Here are a few of my sketches along with the final piece.

Thanks to AD, Maggie Coyne, for the fun collaboration!

Cafe Tellulah mirror lettering

Another fun food-related project came my way recently; I was commissioned to hand-letter a bar menu on a large mirror of Cafe Tellulah, a French-style bistro on Manhattan's Upper West Side. This one was a fun challenge! It was a very large mirror (5' x 12'!) and the execution had to be completed in one day, during off-hours. But very cool to have the opportunity to create something on-location like this. It's always so hard to get good mirror photos because of reflections, and even more so here because of the size, but here's the sketch/mock up I created along with a few shots—and a video clip of me in action!

Pippa Morgan's Diary - book cover illustration

I always love working with the creative team at Sourcebooks, and this cover was no exception. I was asked to redesign the cover for Pippa Morgan's Diary, the super-secret diary of a 10-year old girl with a BIG imagination who's life is just not going well at all! This is an already established series in the UK, so I was required to create the art in a style that reflected the character and interior illustrations, and the AD had specific concepts to follow. But it's a super fun format and a hilarious read, so dove right in and had a lot of fun with it! Available to pre-order now on Amazon.

Hello Summer! It's hot in Hell's Kitchen!

I've been a resident of the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood in NYC for the last 3 years, and absolutely love it—such a vibrant neighborhood and great community! So I was thrilled when w42st Magazine, a free publication & online resource featuring all the fantastic things there are to see, do & eat in Hell's Kitchen, asked me to create the cover for their "Summer Fun" issue. They gave me tons of creative freedom with this, and I loved illustrating something I have such a personal connection to. The issue is out now! The online edition can be seen here, and printed copies are free in coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and other small local businesses & residential buildings throughout the Hell Kitchen area.

It's in the details...Wedding Calligraphy

After having so much fun designing my own wedding invitations, seating cards & other details, I've been dying to do more! So I was thrilled when my friend, Lindsay, asked if I could help her with a few special touches for her big day. She had a gorgeous garden themed wedding at the elegant Winterthur Estate in Delaware, and her lovely invitations from Minted had a soft, simple look featuring calligraphy. So she wanted to reflect that in a few other details for the day of.

Her first idea was to use a large mirror in place of programs at the ceremony. I hadn't seen this idea before, but loved the elegance and uniqueness of it! She purchased a 20" x 30" rectangular mirror and I hand-lettered all the bridal party names. This was definitely a new and fun experience for me to create—and I thought it looked lovely set up where guests arrived for the ceremony.

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I also did calligraphy for her seating cards and table numbers—I loved the way she presented them, as a small "flower bed"—it fit in so perfectly with the theme!

Lindsay and her husband, Matt, share a love of music and had song lyrics incorporated into their ceremony and a few other places throughout the day. So I loved her idea to letter one of their favorite love-themed lyrics on canvas totes as the welcome bags for the out of town guests. And I loved creating this piece! She had them printed by a local vendor, and I think they came out great!

Was fun to be a guest and get to see all the details in the beautiful setting, and an honor to get to be part of this wonderful couples special day in this way! Congrats to the newlyweds!!

Public Power cover illustration

I had the exciting opportunity to create the cover illustration for this month's issue of Public Power, a trade publication of The American Public Power Association, with national and international distribution. The AD had the concept pretty solidly in mind, and it was right up my alley! I love drawing type by hand, combining styles in an illustrative way to represent the article's themes.

Thanks to AD Laura D'Alessandro for this great assignment!

Showstopper!

I recently finished this cover illustration for the second book in the Stage Struck series for Sleeping Bear Press. This fun middle-grade series is closely based on the real-life experience of the author Anya Wallach, who began a summer theater "camp" in her parents' basement when she was just sixteen years old. Thanks to Jennifer at Sleeping Bear —always such a pleasure to work with!

Women's Wit 2016 Calendar

I was thrilled to be asked to illustrate Andrews McMeel's "Women's Wit" calendar for 2016, a mini desk calendar with sassy quotes from funny ladies for each day of the year. I created an illustration and hand-lettering for the cover, as well as 6 spot illustrations and a background pattern to be repeated throughout the interior. Here's the final approved artwork, as well as some of the initial sketches I submitted. This was SUCH a fun project—I can't wait to see the final product! Having just rung in 2015, I know it feels a bit early to be thinking about next year—but, they are available for pre-order now!

Stage Struck

I recently had the great opportunity to work with Sleeping Bear Press on a new middle-grade book series, "Stage Struck" by Anya Wallach. I designed and illustrated this cover for the first book, including the hand-lettered branding that will be carried over to future books in the series. The series is closely based on the real-life experience of Wallach, who began a summer theater “camp” in her parents’ basement when she was just sixteen years old and formed Random Farms, which has launched the careers of many of today’s youngest stars on Broadway. Many thanks to AD, Jennifer Bacheller, for this fun project!

Blissfully busy

I've been sort of hibernating from social media for the last couple of months, but I have a good excuse (kind of!) ... I got married!!! Aside from packing in as many projects as possible these last few months so I can take some time off for a honeymoon, I (of course!) designed all the little touches for the wedding like my invites, programs, menus, etc. So it's been a little hard keeping up with sharing updates along the way, but the big day was last Friday so now I finally have a chance to catch my breath and share a few of the details!

New York is a city I am in love with, and where I fell in love. I've lived here for over a decade, and my entire relationship with John unfolded here. This is where our story is, so we always knew this would have to be where we tie the knot! We got engaged last November 1st, so the timing just kind of naturally led us to have a Fall wedding (bonus that autumn in New York just happens to be my favorite!) I didn't really pick a "theme" for the wedding—after spending about 10 minutes on Pinterest I realized I just liked way too many different & unrelated ideas! But all the things I was drawn to had a simple elegance. And because we were having a city wedding with lots of guests who would be first-timers to NYC, I wanted to capture a sophisticated & classic New York-esque vibe overall.

My save-the-dates sort of subconsciously set the tone for everything else. I initially had a very illustrative look in mind, but my style is too feminine & whimsical for what I was going for to represent our wedding. I wanted it to be elegant, but still have a lot of personality. As I sketched, things just kind of evolved and I ended up with a type-based design, incorporating 2 of my very favorite things to do: hand-lettering and letterpress.

SaveTheDate_design

When it came time to make the invitations, I spent ages trying to decide what direction to go. The possibilities are endless, and I had WAY too much fun sketching out ideas! In the end, I decided these should also be type-based, drawing inspiration from art deco and art nouveau styles. The result was something, that to me, was a little reminiscent of old vaudeville posters —that perfect mix of fun & elegance I wanted. I also letterpressed these and I couldn't resist myself in the paper store, picking out pocket fold envelopes and patterned liner papers. I saw the Mad Lib RSVP idea somewhere in my inspiration search, and immediately knew I wanted to incorporate that. Everyone who knows me, knows my love for Mad Libs—plus, what a fun way to get our guests interacting with us from the start! I also hand-calligraphed all my envelopes, using gold gouache to give an extra special feel.

invitesuite
envelopes
assemblyline

The very first thing I knew I wanted for the look of the wedding was bright orange flowers—so I went the bold, complementary route and used a deep peacock teal as a secondary color. Gold became an accent color, and I used this palette throughout to tie everything together. I repeated some of the decorative elements I'd created for the save-the-date and invitations on the programs & menu cards. For table numbers, I wanted to use NYC places that had special meaning in our relationship—everything from where we met, to our first date, to our favorite pizza joint. I hand-painted signs on illustration board and used gold wire stands to group with our floating candle centerpieces. The place cards corresponded to the table number design.

stuffs2

I used the lettering from my invitations to created a large vinyl cutout for the door. I'd hoped to get some fun photos in front of this, but my florist hung it very late and I actually ended up not even seeing it that day. But it seemed to be a touch that my guests liked, and was helpful in finding the otherwise unmarked entrance to the venue.

Instead of favors, we made a donation to the American Cancer Society in honor of my father who passed away 8 years ago. We also had a photobooth—which I personally think makes the best take home momentos for guests! But, I did create totebags to welcome all my out-of-town guests as a thank you for coming to celebrate with us. I based the design off my save-the-dates, and had my best friend (and bridesmaid extraordinaire!) help me screenprint them. They were stuffed with goodies, a "hangover kit", and a few guides I designed to share the weekend itinerary and recommendations for getting around NYC.

Our wedding was at the Tribeca Rooftop in downtown Manhattan, and we lucked out with the most gorgeous 70-degree fall day, with a stunning sunset. It was absolutely magical, and the party that followed wasn't too shabby either! It truly was the most amazing day of my life—and over flowing with love! Here's a few snapshots from friends and family. I'll share some of the pro photos once I get them.

Now off to South Africa for the honeymoon adventure of a lifetime!!

One day I'll get back to work ;)

A Sweet Surprise

I was super excited to get a private commission last month for a custom wedding illustration. In the midst of my own wedding planning, love is definitely in the air and on my brain—so I was in the right mindset! I was contacted by the couple after they saw this piece I created for a friend last year. They described themselves as  "explorers" and each other's "navigators and co-pilots" with "an unhealthy inclination to sweets". I immediately fell in love with them, and was totally on board to create something special for their big day! This was to be used as an opening page of the guest book at their wedding, later to become a journal of sorts to document future important moments and celebrations in their lives together.  I drew inspiration from vintage flying machines and a candy-colored palette to create a whimsical image that felt just right for them—and they loved it!

I loved creating this—the themes were right up my alley! Plus, because most of my work is a combination of traditional and digital media, I loved getting back to full-on painting. Wishing many many years of love and happiness to this very "sweet" couple!

Dust Chronicles book covers & hand-lettered type design

I was recently commissioned to redesign a really cool YA post-apocalyptic thriller series for Skyscape. The art director had a fantastic vision for these, with a focus on hand-lettered title type design that would turn from orderly and a bit futuristic to "deviant", swirling and splitting off into different directions that would snake around the cover. Laying the decorative type over an atmospheric stock photo would give these books a  futuristic, dystopian feel. I sketched out a bunch of different type styles for these, and we developed one into something that has a sort of decorative circuit board feel that conveys the sci-fi tone of the series. I really love how the final covers turned and it was SO fun to get to create custom lettering in such a decorative, elaborate style! Many thanks to Katrina for the project and great art direction!

Hershey's Blissisms continued...

The latest in my series of illustrations for Hershey's Bliss launched on their Facebook page this week. These “Blissisms”, or “truisms about life with a delicious chocolate twist”, are part of a social media campaign, and this is my third piece for the project. This was a perfect opportunity to marry my hand-lettering & illustration and the creative team at W2O Group was fantastic to work with, making this one of my favorite assignments. Plus...who doesn't love chocolate!

You can stop by and "like" the image on their Facebook Page, as well as check out the other images that are part of the campaign. I created their Facebook cover image as well as another "Blissism" (here), and am in great company with the other illustrators commissioned to be part of this fun campaign.